Monday, September 18, 2006

24 Hours in Montreal

Do you ever claim to hate something when, secretly, you love it? In my case, that list is populated by jury duty, fast food, Peeps, and business travel.

Take jury duty for example. Of course I hate jury duty, right? Everyone does. Endless hours of just sitting, waiting around. All that time to do nothing but read, daydream, and take two hour lunches... who on earth would enjoy that?

I complain about business travel too. Gosh it's so hard living out of a suitcase. Being away from the office, with no phones, no meetings, no copy machines... having to eat out for all your meals, which, by the way, are paid for. Terrible.

So when business took me up to Montreal, I tried to contain what would certainly appear as an unnatural excitement to leave the office. I mean, it's not like I was going to Bentonville, AR. Montreal is one of the world's premier cities, a magical world where people speak French, even though the U.S. is mere miles away, where the food is divine, the shopping, amazing, the people, diverse, the food, divine (oh wait, I said that), where... oh! I've run out of breath.

Since this was a last minute trip, I didn't have too much time to prepare my itinerary, but I knew that walking around the city would lead to culinary treasures galore.

Maybe I should've planned better.

It's not that I didn't like the food - I did - it's just that I don't feel I really got the best the city had to offer. Oh well, next time. Hopefully next time I'll be able to eat and enjoy it with someone else, and not alone. Because dining alone is something I say I love, but secretly hate.


First of all, dining alone always brings the dreaded and pitiful "just one?" question. And even when you're not "just one" in everyday life, being reminded that you're "just one" in a bigger city is a sad and kind of, well, lonely realization. It's not that I want to be "just one," I just am.

I didn't really want to eat at [restaurant I can't even remember the name of]. I just did. And certainly I didn't want to be reminded that I was at a not-my-top-choice restaurant... alone.


Oh yeah. I had a rack of lamb. It was decent.

Lunch at the hotel the next day was a little better. For one, the hotel was adorable, beautiful, and perfect. And supposedly its restaurant - "S" - was one of the better dining spots in the city.

I don't remember who exactly I heard that from, but I suspect it might have been the hotel's own Web site, because the food was slightly better than decent, and a little more than overdone.


OK, I can't make fun of this dish too much. It was only $4! But I seriously thought it was going to attack me. That's a mango avocado parfait, dressed up as Chewbacca. With vinaigrette.

For the main course, I had a fish, delightfully less garnished.


It was decent (recurring theme).

After lunch, before my plane left at 5PM, I had a few hours to shop and take in the city. Boulevard Saint Laurent is a popular shopping and eating district, and it didn't disappoint. I was expecting it to feel a bit like Soho, but it reminded me more of LA's Melrose Ave., minus the bums and Eurotrash. Tons of cute boutiques, lots of fun places to eat, almost all of it pretty cheap.

I was more in the mood for shopping than eating, so I didn't have too many blog-worthy adventures. I was lucky enough to stumble upon one bright spot on the walk home... Ripples home-made ice cream. I sampled a few flavours and instantly knew my new love - lemon chiffon.


Lemon chiffon ice cream really is sunshine in a cup. It's lemony, tart and flowery - it made me want to dance and skip all the way home!

Of course I couldn't leave Canada without some canady (haaha! get it? nevermind). Why do the Canucks get such yummy things that we don't get in the States? Do they think we can't handle it? Probably not...


All of these were pretty good. CandyBlog - one of my favourite blogs - has more in-depth reviews on Coffee Crisp and Aero... so I'll defer to her expertise. Wunderbar was a new one for me. It's essentially a peanut butter, caramel, chocolate and crisped rice concoction, similar (I think) to the 100 Grand bar and the UK's Star Bar.

And, fortunately, I was able to eat and enjoy these * not * alone. It was good to be home.

6 comments:

KirkK said...

Hi Colleen - Is it just me, or have those Endive(not quite sure) leaves just completed puberty...I can see why you say it was a bit...ummm, overdone!

Eddie Lin said...

the only "decent" thing about your 24 hours in montreal was your "canady"...bwahahahahaaa!!!

hey, doesn't anyone in montreal have a foodblog to help a travelling sister out? wussup?

Eddie Lin said...

okay, rosie, next time you're in montreal:

http://www.montrealfood.com/

Cybele said...

Mmmm - I've never tried a Wunderbar, but it sounds right up my alley.

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